On most days I read the paper version of the morning Intelligencer and later look at the online edition of the afternoon News-Register. While the headlines may change, the stories are frequently the same.
The important story about the closing of the Powhatan No. 6 coal mine, first run in yesterday's News-Register and then covered by this morning's Intelligencer, was changed, however. Both versions of the story tell us that Murray Energy announced Monday that they will close the Powhatan No. 6 Mine in November and 430 employees will lose their jobs. From there, the versions differ significantly even though they were written by the same reporter, Casey Junkins. As noted in my previous post, yesterday's News-Register story: (1) documented, according to Murray spokesperson Gary Broadbent, the closing and job loss, and (2) noted that the mine was a union mine. (I then cited a previous article by Junkins that quoted CEO Robert Murray that union work rules might be a future cause of this mine's closure.) Finally, (3) the remaining 60% of the article reprinted the usual Robert Murray attacks on the president and the EPA as their previous actions on coal and climate change became the focus of the article.
Today's version of Junkin's story: tells us (1) that the closing was due to mine depletion, and (2) that UMWA spokesperson, Phil Smith, is disappointed but working with Murray Energy. Nowhere in the article is either President Obama or the EPA blamed or even mentioned.
Yes, that's a significant change and if you read the Intelligencer's first editorial this morning you'll notice that someone forgot to tell the editorial writer that the Ogden newspaper version of what happened had changed. From that editorial:
A headline on page one of today's newspaper opens the door to an explanation of why Trump is so popular in our region. It is above a story about Murray Energy Corp.'s plan to close the Powhatan No. 6 Mine later this year. About 430 miners are expected to lose their jobs. Some of them live in Ohio, while others cross the river from West Virginia to go to work.
They will join hundreds of other laid-off miners in our counties, victims in large measure of President Barack Obama's war on coal and affordable electricity.
Sorry Mr. or Ms. editorial writer -- that was yesterday's version of the truth -- today's is quite different -- the closing was because of "mine depletion."
So what did happen? I don't know* but as with most of their reporting on fossil fuels, politics, unions, or cultural issues, I distrust whatever they print. Like other propagandists, the actual truth of what happened is only reported if it fits the current narrative and I have a hunch that there is more to this story that doesn't quite fit that narrative.
*Perhaps the story was changed because the locals became aware that the New York Times published a long personality profile of Robert Murray this past weekend in which he admitted that the mine is depleted.